Calls & Opportunities

6.2.2015, Friday at 10:00 Topic:  Tawfiq Kan’aan | Director of the Jesus Hilfe Leprosarium, Artists: Hannan Abu Hussein, Yeshayahu Rabinowitz and Sala-manca group


Tawfiq Kan’aan | Director of the Jesus Hilfe Leprosarium
Tawfiq Kan’aan was born in 1882 in the town of Beit Jala to a Lutheran Christian Arab family. His father was the first Arab Lutheran pastor. Tawfiq attended the Schneller high school in Jerusalem, based on German education precepts. In 1899 he moved with his family to Beirut where he studied medicine at the Syrian Protestant College. He graduated with honors and joined the staff of the German Hospital in Jerusalem. In 1912 he married Margot Eilender. They lived in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood, where Kan’aan also opened a private clinic. From 1919 until 1948 he was the medical director of the Hansen Leper Hospital, where he also conducted several groundbreaking experiments for treating the disease.
Alongside his medical vocation, Kan’aan also became one of the pillars of Palestinian folklore studies, researching live Palestinian patrimony. Combining his medical practice and his folklore research, Kan’aan ventured on various journeys to the rural areas of Palestine. There he collected objects of material culture, made observations and tried to present a picture different from the one shown in travel literature of the time that had described the life of Palestinians and Bedouins as an “authentic expression of Biblical life”. He studied the link between popular religion, magic and madness and began to collect talismans, some of which he received as ‘payment in kind’ for the medical care he provided the inhabitants of rural areas.
As for his political views, for a while he maintained a dialogue with Yehuda-Leib Magnes, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and member of the Brit-Shalom group, regarding a bi-national state. At the same time he began to develop a Palestinian national consciousness. In 1934 he headed a delegation of Arab physicians demanding the British Mandate authorities to limit the work permits allotted Jewish doctors, many of whom were then fleeing Nazi Germany. During the Great Arab Uprising he was already active as a main advocate of the Palestinian national movement. He was one of the first formulators of “The Problem of Palestine” which originated, he claimed, from the scheme undertaken by Zionism and British imperialism to expel the indigenous Arabs from their land. On the day World War Two was declared, Kan’aan was arrested for opposing the British Mandate rule, and was sentenced to prison in Acre for two months. From that time, he cut off his social ties with Jews.
The Tawfiq Kan’aan Talisman Collection at Bir Zeit University
The display of a part of Tawfiq Kan’aan’s talisman collection – consisting of about 1400 objects – became one of the projects developed at the initiative of the Museum of the Contemporary. As early as June 2014, a part of the collection was displayed, presented by three artists invited to take part in this project:
Hannan Abu Hussein chose to relate to one medallion from the collection, showing the inscription Ya kafi ya shafi – “God gives, God heals”. She cast about 20 enlarged concrete versions of this medallion and hung them on a wall of the building as talismans for the hospital itself. This restoration is replicated now in a room on the lower level of the building.
Anat Bar-El chose to relate to the outline of magic dolls: by means of projecting an enlarged photograph of dolls on the wall she created their outline on the white ceramic of the wall itself, and during the exhibition these doll outlines were “peeled off” and thus lost their power and presence. Their magic force gradually disappeared along with their referential capacity. (See image)
Yeshayahu Rabinowitz exhibits six talismans from the Tawfiq Kan’aan collection by means of a meticulous copy of photographs of the virtual catalogue. Rabinowitz’s Palestinian talismans raise questions of cultural dispossession, construction of authenticity, the takeover of memory and quoting to the point of overtaking. They relate not only to the Palestinian talismans of the Kan’aan collection at Bir Zeit University, but also to concepts of ownership, power and artistic politics. The action that Rabinowitz chose to perform reconstructed not only the original talisman but also its new context as an item in a catalogue. By copying the captions that the collection’s catalogue-writers added to the talismans, the reconstruction includes a central aspect in the life of the talisman – its new identity as a sorted, catalogued, political object.


6.2.2015, Friday at 10:00 Topic:  Tawfiq Kan’aan | Director of the Jesus Hilfe Leprosarium, Artists: Hannan Abu Hussein, Yeshayahu Rabinowitz and Sala-manca group

20.2.2015, Friday at 10:00 Topic: Eternal Sukkah with Al-Korchan family and the artist: Yishaiau Rabinowitz, Sala-Manca Group, Chen Cohen and Ktura Manor

25.2.2015, Wednesday at 20:00 Topic: Dybbuk, after the celebrated play of the same name by S. Ansky and the festival His Voice on Her, Artists: Guy Biran, Sala-manca groupTom Soloveitzik, Josef Sprinzak, Shira Borer and Li Lorian.

27.2.2015, Friday at 10:00 Topic: Masks Artists: Amitai Arnon, Esther Bires and Sala-manca group

11.3.2015, Wednesday at 20:00 Screening: Same River Twice, with the director  Effi Weiss


Please notice the new opening hours of the Ethnographic Department: Monday and Thursday 10-15, Wednesday 17-21 and Fridays 9-12



Due to the upcoming snow, Hansen and Mamuta will be closed from Wednesday 7/1 though the weekend. The Show will reopen next Monday 12/1.


רק זיקוקים s31.12.20014 | Mamuta | Guedaliau Alon 14 | Hansen House

Opening of the exhibition:  20:00

New  Year Party:  22:00 | free admission


Masks Amitai Arnon and Ester Bires
Opening: 31.12.2014 | 20:00 | free admission
Mamuta | Guedaliau Alon 14 | Hansen House
Monday, Thursday 10:00-15:00, Wednesday 17:00-21:00,  Friday 9:00-12:00
Until: 6.3.2015

Artists: Yeshaiau Rabinowitz, Itamar Mendes Flohr, Sala-manca, Ktura Manor, Ester Bries, Amitai Arnon, Nir Yahalom, Adi Kaplan, Shahar Carmel, Hanan Abu-Hussein, Samuel Rotman | Curators: Sala-manca

The Ethnographic Department addresses the link between an art museum and an ethnographic museum, between “fine” art and “folk” art, and the tension that exists between original, restoration, copy and adaptation. All of these are aspects central to the curatorial thinking that has guided the Museum of the Contemporary since its onset. The Museum was founded in December 2009 at the Mamuta Center in Ein Kerem, in the home of  Daniela Passal, formerly the home of Palestinian researcher Issa Manun and in the interim “absentee property”.

The first exhibition dealt with the museum as an institution, with the topography of Israeli memory, with the local historiography of the village Ein Karem and and with the home of the museum – the home of Daniela Passal. The Museum also developed a digital storage room of exhibitions which are not viewable on the net but are offered for downloading – each exhibition as a “package” for printing, exhibiting or re-installing – according to the physical and economic possibilities of the downloading body.

The Ethnographic Department also deals in part with the history of the structure in which it dwells. This is the Leprosarium Jesus Hilfe , founded as an isolatedrefuge for leprosy patients. It was created by the German-Protestant Moravian community in 1867 and operated for twenty years in a building on today’s Agron Street, Jerusalem. In 1887 the institute moved to a new building in the Talbiya neighborhood of Jerusalem, planned by Konrad Shick.

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His Voice on Her: Dybbuk

Programme 1   – 24 and 26 Nov 20:00

Shira Borer, Josef Sprinzak, Li Lorian, Noam Inbar, Victoria Hanna, Adam Yodfat, Shahar Carmel

 Adi Kaplan, Tom Soloveitzik, Alex Drool, Yaara Bar, Carmel Bar, The Conservatory Orchestra at JAMD directed by Michael Klinghoffer (the Orchsetra will play only at the 26.11)

Programme 2 -  25 Nov 20:00

Shahar Carmel, Adi Kaplan and The Conservatory Orchestra at JAMD directed by Michael Klinghoffer

  Ilan Volkov, Maya Dunietz, Tomer Damsky, Eran Sachs, Alex Drool
conducted by Ilan Volkov
curators: Guy Biran and Sala-Manca
a joint collaboration between Hazira and Mamuta

photo by nir shaanani (21)Open studio at Mamuta till 14.11.14

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00-14:30, Friday 9:00-12:00


unnamed (1) unnamedEternal Sukkah
A structure from the Jahalin Bedouin community on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road is purchased, dismantled, and reassembled in the Hansen House garden
Participating artists:Sala-Manca Group, Itamar Mendes-Flohr, Yishaiau Rabinowitz, Ktura Manor, Chen Cohen, Hagar Goren, Nir Yahalom,
In the lead-up to the 2014 Sukkot holiday, the Sala-Manca Group, directors of the Mamuta Art and Media Center at Hansen House, decided to create a public sukkah on the Hansen grounds, a temporary dwelling for its activities during the holiday. Rather than construct an extravagant or innovatively designed sukkah, Sala-Manca and Mamuta’s artists in residence chose to delve into the sukkah’s charged meaning in the Israeli context and to highlight the temporary nature of the structure and its associations with exile – thus evoking associations not only with Jewish history but also with the modern Israeli context, and proposing a contemporary reading of the sukkah, both as a concrete object and as a symbol.
A structure from the Jahalin Bedouin community on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road is purchased, dismantled, and reassembled in the Hansen House garden
Participating artists: Sala-Manca Group,Yishaiau Rabinowitz, Itamar Mendes-Flohr, Hagar Goren, Ktura Manor, Chen Cohen, Nir Yahalom,
As part of the Mamuta’s Underground Academy (as its residency program is called), the artists in residence went on an ethnographic expedition into the Judean Desert outside of Jerusalem (the area of the Jerusalem-Jericho Road) to meet members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, who live a life of exile to this day. The Jahalin first became refugees in 1949 when they were expelled from their lands in the Negev desert. They migrated to the region of the Judean Desert, where transience continues to be a part of their daily lives. The artists met members of one of the families and listened to their stories. They then proposed to purchase a structure from them, with the idea of dismantling it and reassembling it in the garden of the Hansen House and thus transplanting a piece of one reality within another one.
Not only is the sukkah structure itself transplanted to the center of Jerusalem, but with it a different story of exile and desert-dwelling. The adopted sukkah proposes a re – reading of Jewish history, an observation of the state of exile, a search for a new ethnic-national-social space, a pursuit of freedom, and an exposure to the diversity of Israeli reality and the paradoxes of history. Activities related to these subjects will be held throughout the holiday. (more details to come).

Tuesday 7.10.14 at 19:30 Inauguration of the Sukkah: “Wandering in the Desert” – Politics of Place from the Sinai Desert to the Judean Desert: Round-table discussion in the tabernacle
Participants: Alon Cohen Lifshitz, Abu Suleiman al-Kurajan, Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, Sala Manca, and Mamuta artists in residence.

Friday, 10.10.14 Public housing in the Sukkah

11:30 Panel disscussion with Yael Padan, Niv Hachlili, Sala-Manca and the Mamuta artists

13:00 Picnic

14:00 Playing the Sukka with Eran Sacks, Tomer Damsky and Yaniv Schonfeld